by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Ever since I got Legend's MaxxPro MRAP kit in 1/35 scale, I knew I had to do it justice. It is an expensive and demanding full resin model kit, and I wanted to do get everything as close to the real thing as possible. Finding high-resolution detailed photos on the vehicle in service was not easy... even though I got some excellent images from Rob Skipper, I needed more. After a while I heard WWP announced a "photo manual for modelers" on MaxxPro; although I honestly didn't know what to expect from the book I thought I should give it a shot. Now, after going through the book cover to cover several times, I can definitely confirm it is by far the best photographic reference of MaxxPro MRAP around. But let's go one step at the time...
The book arrived couple of days after I ordered it, perfectly packed in a hard cardboard box and additionally secured inside a bubble-wrap. At first glance the book looks amazing, printed on a high-quality paper, well structured, professionally presented and jam-packed with large full color photos. Here are the basic facts:
Title: U.S. 4x4 MRAP MaxxPro in Detail
Publisher: Wings & Wheels Publications (WWP)
Authors: Ralph Zwilling, Mike Collins
Format: softcover (22x24 cm)
Color: full color
Retail Price: $36 (€25)
The book is organized in 7 chapters:
• History and Development (002-007)
• Walkaround (008-041)
• Weapon Station Details (042-051)
• Engine Details (052-053)
• Frame and Suspension (054-067)
• MaxxPro Interior (068-087)
• MaxxPro Dash DXM (088-096)
The first chapter is dedicated to MaxxPro history and development, explaining the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) program and categorizing different classes of MRAP vehicles, as well as giving an introduction to MaxxPro family of vehicles. The walkaround chapter spans over 34 pages and shows the complete MaxxPro exterior: bonnet details with armored front grill, front bumper details and the recovery winch, front fenders with tire fire suppression system fluid lines and nozzles, full details of cabin left and right sides including the fuel tank, armored grills in front of the ballistic windows and the details on the footrests, cabin rear with rear ramp, as well as roof details like the armor plates, top hatch, remote operated search light and GPS antenna with all the wiring. The next chapter, 10 pages long, deals with weapon station details: the exterior featuring Objective Gunner's Protection Kit (O-GPK), and interior with the weapon mount, turret hatch, turret control joystick and number of other details. The chapter with engine details comprises of only two pages, and contains basic info and 4 large photos of the 330hp MaxxForce D8.7L 16 diesel engine. Next up is the 14 pages long chapter on frame and suspension, showing front and rear wheel and rim details, front axle details, right and left front wheels, front axle and steering, armor floor details, central frame, rear axle and rear frame details. The chapter on MaxxPro interior follows on the next 20 pages, and shows front interior details, commander's and driver's compartment, C4ISR rack, troop compartment details, seat details, rear ramp details and finally roof details. The last chapter shows a slightly different variant of the vehicle, MaxxPro Dash DXM, with number of walkaround and interior photos.
So, what is it so special about this book? First and foremost, the photos. Photos are the main reason modelers buy books, and this particular title features 260 high-resolution, large color photos showing every aspect of MaxxPro. All the tiniest details are covered by the photos and I really can't imagine anyone (including the die-hard rivet counters like me) needing any additional references for modeling the super-accurate MaxxPro MRAP. I would have loved to see some extra "in action" photos of the beast, showing the vehicle with a full crew kit, but I guess I'm just being difficult. The information supplied on the MaxxPro is kept short and concise; the intro gives interesting details on the origins of the vehicle, while the brief captions provide a very informative read, explaining various details presented in the photos.
I never owned a WWP book before, but after seeing this volume I definitely know where to turn to next time I need reference photos. The book feels professional in every aspect, from the high-quality paper and clear presentation to the incredible amount of large full color photos. Although primarily a photo book covering just about every detail of MaxxPro MRAP, it also contains interesting info on the vehicle.
So, if you have Legend's full resin kit, or you are waiting to get the model in plastic from Riich or Kinetic, this book is definitely something you need. It is by far the best possible resource of MaxxPro reference photos around.